Air Powered Vehicles

May 9, 2020  |   Engineering, Design, Physics

Air is a powerful force when set in motion. 

Ray Weatherford revs up the engineering and gets you started designing, building, and testing vehicles powered by air. 

Materials | Supplies

  • cardboard tubes, plastic/paper cups, pool noodles
  • pencils, skewers, straws, chopsticks
  • wiffle balls, bottle caps, or spools
  • paper, craft foam, card stock or thin cardboard
  • tape, rubber bands, binder clips, paper clips
  • scissors, awl, hole punch, or knife
  • fan or hair dryer

Concepts Explored

  • friction
  • traction
  • force and motion
  • balance
  • lift
  • Bernoulli's Principal

Discovery Starters

What happens when you change the wheels on your vehicle?

Observe how changes to vehicle components change the vehicle's ability to move. 

Does a heavy or light vehicle work best on your surface? 

When you increase the airflow, what happens? Why?

Explore Further

Create a story about your vehicle.

What landscape will it travel through? Create various surfaces for it to navigate - desert, grassland, tundra, forest.

Why is your vehicle needed? Is it to deliver life saving equipment, materials to build a water treatment plant in the desert, or rescue stranded travelers on a polar expedition? Be creative!

Additional Resources

Amazeum YOU Activity Guide Air Powered Vehicles

Amazeum YOU Activities Build A Boat | Bernoulli Obstacle Course